The social media-fuelled rise in men's skincare

Dubai - Social media is driving the change as more men grow conscious of their appearances


Purva Grover

Published: Thu 21 Oct 2021, 2:02 PM

The growth horizon for the ‘Male Personal Care’ category in 2022 couldn’t be rosier. The category is forecasted to be a $166 billion market with a 6 per cent annual growth rate predicted through 2027, according to the Grand View Research. Yes, men’s skincare is having a moment and how. Whilst once, archaic attitudes and general laziness often meant no ‘skincare’ for men; today things are quite different. The male skincare is witnessing a sturdy growth, from beard oils to cosmetic procedures, everything is on the table. What are the factors behind this growth? Let’s dig deeper. “An interesting fact is that we witnessed over an 80 per cent increase in male users on our portal throughout the lockdown clearly signaling a heightened desire for ‘at-home solutions’ for men,” says Ryan Saddik, General Manager, FOREO, MEA region.

And the credit goes to social media

“Social media has greatly contributed towards the change. With more male influencers who are wellness and skincare focused coming about or becoming popular, it pushes the shift of normalising self-care for men,” says Mae Romero Do-Thanh, a certified aesthetician and Founder, The Branding Room “Male grooming used to be only focused on hygiene, with men buying only the basics: shampoos, shaving products and deodorants. Now, the segment has evolved far beyond the bare essentials and men can now find a whole range of male self-care products, from natural face cleansers to solid face masks and moisturiser bars,” shares Mariam Khafagy, Co-Founder, Upfill. She too believes that the main driver for this change is social media. “For men in their 20’s to 30’s, clean skin and washboard abs are considered a part of fashion so taking care of the appearance is a must. For men in their 40s and over, there is an increased interest in fashion and skincare,” says Myra Palermo, area manager, The Face Shop, Al Ghurair Retail.

The numbers speak

Globally, men are seeking out skincare routines at much higher rates than we have ever seen previously. For example, a study from TrendAnalytics shows that the number of searches related to men’s moisturisers has surged by more than 300 per cent in 2020! As per Myra, customers in their 20s to 30s lead the purchase numbers; they are active in caring for their appearance and think it is an investment for the future. “We have seen about 70 per cent of our customers using moisturisng and sun care products, as our skin tends to get very dry due to summer heat, from which 15 per cent are men between ages 25-35. We have seen an overall 20 per cent rise in men using skin care products since 2020, especially for our belif range.” Adds Sabina, “The nature of skincare shopper and their needs changed over the last year. As reported by Euromonitor, 21per cent of skincare shoppers purchase on digital platforms. Meanwhile, 41 per cent are seeking personalised solutions tailored to their particular needs. Our personal experience with our male clients is today almost 60 per cent of our sales with returning rate of 90 per cent. We believe numbers are high due to the nature of our products and their effects on everyone, better skin condition, anti-aging results, hair growth, and general well-being.”

Glamming up, conveniently

Mariam makes an interesting observation when she shares how today everyone sees their favourite celebrities (from footballers to entrepreneurs) radiating self-confidence and attractiveness, “Women love it, men want to imitate it. Not everyone has the football skills, but everyone can apply a haircare and skincare routine! Self-care has become the ultimate sign of accomplishment especially for the younger generations, who spend more time on social media than any other age group.” Agrees Mae, as she adds how men also get motivated when they realise that other men, as well as, women give out a positive reaction to what they’re doing.

A grooming ritual to incorporate into routine

As per Mae, it is the use of sun protection — whether you are tanning or not! Mariam insists that long gone are the days of the 3-in-1 products for men, “Just like any healthy habit, I recommend starting small and building from there. Men should start their morning face routine with a cleanser, a moisturiser and SPF. And yes, gentlemen, SPF is not just for the beach! In the evening, I recommend using a cleanser and eye cream before sleep.” Ryan suggests how nighttime routines are essential and it is a known fact that all recovery happens in your sleep, “A quick-and-easy nighttime routine helps prepare your skin for a sound and successful rejuvenated hibernation.” Myra recommends six steps: Cleanser, Toner, Serum, Moisturiser, Sunscreen and a Men’s BB Cream (daytime). She adds, “South Korean men lead the world’s male beauty market. In Korea, even though skin care steps may sound little too elaborate, they do work!”

What lies ahead?

“Definitely, more personalised solutions, tailor-made for each individual. Especially with proper nutrition as all body processes first start within us, and eventually are showing on the outside. The trend of ‘conceptual’ products, that offer various positive effects and results, is increasing also with men as they all search one-stop-solutions for their appearance,” says Sabina Bozic, Middle East brand ambassador and head of distribution (Middle East), Collagen Shot.

“Men are regularly upgrading their gadgets and looking for more streamlined designs to suit their needs and busy lifestyles, and when it comes to skincare, it shouldn’t be any different. Men in the region are rapidly following the trend in tech-oriented skincare products and being more meticulous with their skincare routines in general,” says Ryan. Whilst Mariam believes that change is happening fast, there is still a long way to go, “Men in the Middle East take a lot of pride in their image. Male consumers are becoming more conscious about what they use on their bodies and have a better understanding of ingredients. The Middle East is no exception to these global movements. The trend is growing and the industry leaders are adapting to it.”

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